Unmarried couples are in an interesting position when it comes to separating. Their children may not have their father's last name, and they may not even be legally recognized as his. That's why it's encouraged to seek out a paternity test if you are not positive that you are the father of children in your relationship or if you are not married.
While couples have the opportunity to acknowledge paternity at the child's birth, a father may not have been present or known about the child at that time. There may also be confusion about who the father is. In those cases, it's advised to seek a paternity test, or if the other party does not agree, to go to court and make sure a paternity test is ordered.
Why use a paternity test to prove paternity?
A paternity test is essential for proving paternity, because it guarantees, at around a rate of 99%, that this child is the father's or is not the father's. With the findings of the test as legal evidence, it's possible to pursue parental rights, such as legal or physical custody.
What should you do if the other parent won't agree to a paternity test?
If the other parent will not agree, you can petition the court for a court order that mandates the test. Your attorney can help you fill out the documents you need to request the test.
Our site has more on paternity testing and family law, so you can get the help and answers you need when you have questions about the law.